Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Latex allergy refers to a reaction to specific proteins found often in the natural latex found in rubber i.e. a product obtained from the rubber tree. Individuals suffering from latex allergy often experience hives and itchy skin, along with a life-threatening condition named anaphylaxis that may result in swelling of throat and severe difficulty in breathing. Consulting with your doctor helps you to determine whether you are dealing with latex allergy or you are a risk to develop it. Understanding about latex allergy and staying aware with its common sources allow you to avoid all sorts of allergic reactions.

What Is The Most Common Reaction To Latex?

Doctors say that the most common reactions associated with latex allergy are mild ones or less severe reactions after latex exposure. In such case, you should consult with doctor, so that one helps you in diagnosis and proper cure. On the other side, severe and life-threatening conditions, although they are rare ones require emergency medical care.

Rare or Common Latex Reactions Depend On Latex Allergy Symptoms

Now, the main question that comes in the mind of every individual, who is at the risk to develop latex allergic reactions, is that what the common type of latex reaction is. If an individual is allergic to latex product, one will likely develop symptoms even after simply touching any latex rubber-based product, like for instance balloons or gloves. Even an individual experiences symptoms white breathing in latex particles released into air whenever anyone removes his/her latex gloves.

Based on broad classification, experts have explained rare or common latex reactions in accordance with mild to severe symptoms of latex allergy. Reaction thus depends on your sensitivity to latex and the exact amount of latex you inhale or touch. Moreover, the reaction in this case becomes worse with your additional exposure to latex every time.

Mild Symptoms of Latex Allergy

Symptoms associated with mild latex allergy are-

  • Rashes or hives
  • Redness of skin
  • Itching
  • Severe Symptoms of Latex Allergy

Symptoms related to severe form of latex allergic reactions are-

Causes of Latex Allergy

In case of latex allergy, immune system of a person identifies/considers latex as any harmful substance and activates specific antibodies to fight with it. Next time when you exposed to the latex product, antibodies signal the immune system to release a few chemicals, including histamine in the bloodstream to produce a variety of allergic signs and symptoms.

How Latex Allergy Takes Place?

Latex allergy may take place in two major ways, which include-

Direct Contact: Touching or direct contact with latex condoms, gloves and balloons, along with any other latex-based product is the most common cause of latex allergy.

Airborne Type: Latex balloons, latex gloves or other latex products often release particles containing latex in the air. Whenever you breathe in such air, you suffer from airborne latex allergy. The exact amount of airborne latex released from balloons or gloves differs highly in accordance with the specific brand of any glove.

Anaphylaxis-A Life-threatening Symptom

Anaphylaxis is the most severe and life-threatening type of allergic reaction caused in individuals. Even this type of latex allergy leads to one’s death. According to medical experts, anaphylactic type of reaction often develops in no time after the exposure to latex and it is common among highly sensitive people. Key signs and symptoms to detect anaphylaxis problem are as follows-

  • Swelling or hives
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Significant drop in the blood pressure (often cause low blood pressure)
  • Wheezing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Weak or rapid pulse rate
  • Confusion.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 14, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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